When it comes to pets and cannabinoids, there is a little bit of controversy and wariness – for good reason. Yet, if science has shown anything, there is certainly potential, just like there is in humans. Most mammals, just like us, have an endocannabinoid system within their bodies that allow compounds like CBD to interact with them, but are it safe?
THE PROBLEM: THC
The main concern when people try to medicate their pets with cannabinoids is THC. Although there has never been a recorded death in humans as a direct result of THC consumption, it is a cannabinoid that can pose a larger risk to pets, such as cats and dogs. Animals are not only smaller – so cannot process as much – but may also metabolize cannabinoids in different ways. It means there is a definite need for caution when dealing with CBD for cats.
CBD: A NEED FOR MORE RESEARCH
However, CBD has been shown to be extremely effective at relieving certain symptoms in humans, such as those of epileptic seizures and inflammation related diseases. It is only understandable that owners would want to impart these same effects on their pets. So far, there are reports of success, with the lives of animals being turned around. The only problem is that this is all anecdotal evidence. There are now sites saying they sell completely safe CBD for pets – and maybe it is – but the thing is, there is currently very little evidence to back up the claims.
This isn’t to say that a drop of CBD oil is going to send your dog into toxic shock, it is highly unlikely. However, vets and owners alike are left relying on trial and error to work out what works and what doesn’t. It is also largely dependent on the oil itself, and the ratio of THC to CBD present – homemade oil made from medical marijuana is going to be very different to a pure CBD oil extracted from hemp.
There is also the question of how different species will deal with it. Not only will dogs of different sizes need different doses, but what about the difference between dogs and cats? And what about reptiles? We know that mammals have endocannabinoid systems, but reptiles are a completely different thing altogether.
Once again, this isn’t to say you should not look at a way to help a pet in need. All this does is highlight a real need for in-depth and comprehensive clinical research – much like is currently being conducted for humans. In fact, many studies involving CBD and THC are carried out on rats before humans! This just needs to be expanded, to assess safe dosages for other animals. If you are considering CBD as a supplement for your pet, be sure to do some through research! Find others who have done the same, find out the amount needed for your pet’s weight, and always proceed with caution.